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View Diary: From Huckabee To Domestic Terrorism In One Easy Lesson (60 comments)

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  •  Had a Sister of Mercy in Nursing School (22+ / 0-)

    that taught an Ethics class. She told us that it was ok to lie as long as it was for the greater good. I couldn't believe that I was hearing this and some of us questioned her. Lost repect from that day on.  It was a growing time for me. I realized that no one plays by the Law if they can get away with it.

    "Though the Mills of the Gods grind slowly,Yet they grind exceeding small."

    by Owllwoman on Sun Jan 06, 2008 at 04:18:14 AM PST

    •  holy smoke (13+ / 0-)

      that's exactly the opposite of what the good Monsignor taught me in the 8th grade - that there were not even permissible "white lies."

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Sun Jan 06, 2008 at 04:33:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That sounds familiar (10+ / 0-)

      From Understanding Scientology:

      "To a Scientologist, Scientology is the elite organization on this planet, superior to all other earth organizations. The Scientology system of ethics, based on the "greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics," is therefore superior to any system of "wog" law.

      Transgressions of "wog" law necessary to further the ends of Scientology are sanctioned on the basis of the "greatest good." In this way, lying, stealing, burgling and a host of other crimes become justified as means to the end of saving mankind.

      Shielded by this philosophy, Scientologists have, over the years, been involved in a staggering array of crimes most unbecoming to members of a church.

      It is a fact that Scientologists, particularly members of the G.O., are trained to lie. In a policy called Intelligence Specialist Training Routine -- TR-L (which stands for Training Routine Lie), the student is trained "to outflow false data effectively."

      In the drill, the student has to tell a lie, which is then challenged by a coach, who works with the student until the student becomes able to "lie facily."

      The ability to lie convincingly is used by the Scientologist in a variety of situations, including the giving of courtroom testimony. A Scientologist feels no obligation to be truthful in a "wog" court, even under oath. Again, this is because the Scientologist is operating under a higher law, that of the "greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics."

      THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. -- L. Ron Hubbard Technique 88

      by xenubarb on Sun Jan 06, 2008 at 04:50:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, "superiority" is the holy grail. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, ER Doc

        That's what these people are after.  Superiority has one handmaiden--secrecy--and one off-spring--power.

        Establishments of religion are attractive because they espouse a natural hierarchy and enjoy a privileged status.  Unlike secular private corporations which can be held to account by shareholders and customers, religious establishments are immune from review, unless the behavior of individual members are demonstrably criminal.

        What I would argue is that just as private corporations were suborned by public officials to evade public scrutiny (telcom experience is telling), the so-called "faith-based" initiatives are motivated by a similar interest to funnel activities or launder funds through un-auditable entities.

        It's my sense that while Edwards is correct in identifying corporations as partners in schemes to defraud the public, the initiative for this behavior seems to have come from public officials, rather than from the corporations or religious establishments themselves.

        If so, then it will be the public officials whose behavior needs to be changed, rather than the private corporations, lobbyists and establishments of religion.  This is, of course, also true when it comes to campaign finance.  It isn't the citizens who need to be regulated; it's the prospective public officials.

    •  Guess "Thou shalt not bear false witness"... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, ER Doc

      ...had no meaning for this Sister of "Mercy".

      Which begs the question--AGAIN--why in all hell do these types of people want to display the Ten Commandments on the public square?

    •  And the example used was (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troutfishing, G2geek, ER Doc

      (at least when I took a similar course), if the Nazi's came to your door and asked "Are you harboring Jews?" it would be the ethical thing to do to lie and say "No"

      I tend to agree . . . .

      •  abuse of logic... (0+ / 0-)

        The way that works is by gradually moving the bar.  Start with an example that's basically incontrovertible, and then subtly change the rules to get from here to there.  

        Of course it's "appropriate" to lie to Nazis about Jewish refugees in the attic, and no sane person would do otherwise.  

        But once you set foot on that very slippery slope, it becomes all too easy to justify a lie the next time, and the next, and the next.  

        A typical outcome was Cardinal Law (ironic name, that), concealing enough child molesters to fill up a cellblock.  

        And from there it's only a few short steps...

        •  I agree it's a slippery slope (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ER Doc

          once you admit that the government (or the Ten Commandments - which in this situation conflict with each other) may not be infallable and one has to think for themselves.

          While I do not agree with how far down the slope many have gone - usually the right wing nutsos, I also do not agree with the criticism of the Nun who justified lying on occasion.  Both extremes are untenable.

        •  There's a certain subtle shift here... (0+ / 0-)

          The King James version of the Ten Commandments uses the phrasing, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." That's not exactly the same as, "Don't ever tell lies." "There are no Jews here" is not bearing false witness against your neighbor. "He is not harboring Jews over there" is not bearing false witness against your neighbor. "He is harboring Jews over there", when he really isn't, is bearing false witness against your neighbor.
                If Cardinal Law had said, "The Church is not harboring refugees" when they were, that might be a permissable lie. Cardinal Law covering up criminal acts that harmed the innocent is a very different situation.

          -5.12, -5.23

          We are men of action; lies do not become us.

          by ER Doc on Sun Jan 06, 2008 at 10:16:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  VERY interesting point. (0+ / 0-)

            This would also extend to cover fraudulence of various kinds: bearing false witness with regard to something external, in a manner that causes harm to your neighbor (or whoever is the victim).  

            The key points being "false" and "against."  

            That would also seem to cover "social fibs" such as "You're looking great today" when you're thinking "...s/he really put on some pounds over the holidays!"


            Thus far my standard has been: it's OK to lie if and only if you are attempting to protect innocent persons (including yourself) or acts against an adverse use of power that is arbitrary, prejudicial, and likely to have an unjust outcome.  

            The definition issue there is what constitutes an innocent person or act.  If I believe the marijuana laws are unjust, I'm not going to 'fess up that a friend has a baggie of pot on his kitchen counter.  OTOH a gangster seeking to protect a friend could rationalize "if we didn't do the drive-by, that guy would have gotten us next week," and therein resides another slippery slope.

            The formulation "false and against" seems to be a much better way of putting it.  "False" and "against" are each self-evident with only need for a fairly quick internal consistency check & lucidity check.

            (I'm not doubting the wisdom of the scriptural formulation here, just reasoning it out on my own.)

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